The Climate Science Debate: What Does Physics Tell Us and Why People on Both Sides Are So Angry About It
Abstract: The state of the science of climate change will be discussed; I will explain why climate scientists are so confident about our understanding of the problem. Also, I will discuss the polarized debate over climate change and explain why there is such an enormous split over the scientific reality of the problem.
Short Biography: Andrew Dessler is a climate scientist who studies both the science and politics of climate change. His scientific research revolves around climate feedbacks, in particular how water vapor and clouds act to amplify warming from the carbon dioxide that humans emit. In 2012, he received the AGU’s Ascent Award from the atmospheric sciences section to reward exceptional achievement by a mid-career scientist. During the last year of the Clinton Administration, he served as a Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Based on his research and policy experience, he has authored two books on climate change: The science and politics of global climate change: A guide to the debate (Cambridge University Press, 2006, 2010, co-written with Edward Parson), and Introduction to modern climate change (Cambridge University Press, 2011). This latter book won the 2014 AMS Louis J. Battan Author’s Award. In recognition of his work on outreach, in 2011 he was named a Google Science Communication Fellow. Prior to his work on climate, his research focused on stratospheric photochemistry. He is presently a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University. His educational background includes a BA in physics from Rice University and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University. He also did postdoctoral work at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and spent nine years on the research faculty of the University of Maryland. Prior to graduate school, he worked on Wall Street in the energy group at The First Boston Corporation doing mergers and acquisitions analysis.
He lives in College Station, TX with his wife, two kids, and two worthless dogs.
His TAMU homepage can be found here.